Louise O’Hara (from right), general manager, the Park Inn by Radisson Shannon, in celebratory mood with staff members:
Front row: Emer Mulcahy, operations manager.
Middle row: Judy Kelly, front office manager; Aidan McCarthy, head chef and Lovepreet Gill, hotel controller.
Back row: Jackie Breene, assistant operations manager and Steven Routley, duty manager.
Photograph by Eamon Ward
Perched almost on the Shannon Estuary and within touching distance of Ireland’s longest runway at Shannon Airport, Shannon’s most established hotel, the Park Inn by Radisson is the first and last hotel visitors to the Mid-West region see when they land or take off from Shannon.
Open since 1963, initially as the International Hotel, subsequently the Great Southern Hotel, and now part of the Radisson portfolio, the final phase of a three-year, €1.8 makeover is almost complete. This will include the refurbishment of the world-famous Blair’s Bar, which will retain its inviting open turf fire, and the 114 bedrooms and is the last stage of a total revamp with the reception and lobby, reading room and restaurant already magnificantly transformed.
General Manager Louise O’Hara said: “I can step back with pride now when I drive past the hotel and see its newly painted exterior, and then, when I step inside, I am so proud to say I manage this wonderful hotel with such a rich and historic background. It has been here since the beginning of Shannon; it’s part of the ‘new town’s’ fabric.
“Our aim in refurbishing the hotel was to give it a renewed life, not just for visitors but for the wider region. We have 114 modern and beautifully furnished bedrooms, seven meeting rooms, which are furnished to the highest technological specifications and adaptable to cater for meetings of all sizes, plus, our bar and restaurant serves wonderful food, prepared by local chef Aidan McCarthy. We have a fully fitted-out mini gym to keep our guests healthy and fit, and they are always encouraged to take a walk alongside the estuary walls or venture onto the fairways at Shannon Golf Club.
“Our super team of 45 are on hand 24/7 to respond to the minutest of queries as our aim is to ensure that everyone who visits Shannon gets a good first and last impression, and that the local community have choice when going out for family or business events. We have also introduced free parking for our customers so that they can easily access the hotel; this includes a stay, park and fly option too.
“I am delighted to have overseen the completion of our new-look hotel and it is great to have it ready for the 2017 season. Already No 1 on Trip Advisor for hotels in the area, we want to maintain those very high standards and will join with all stakeholders in the region to project the West of Ireland as an excellent tourism and investment location,” added Ms O’Hara.
Congratulating Ms O’Hara on the tremendous changes introduced to the hotel, Shannon Chamber’s chief executive Helen Downes said: “As a Chamber working with businesses in the area, it is great to have such a supply of great hotels in the region to recommend, not just for local businesses but for the suppliers and customers who visit. The Park Inn by Radisson at Shannon Airport has all the amenities required by both business and leisure travellers and, the local and regional community. The ambiance, accommodation, food , meeting rooms and leisure facilities are to a very high standard. We frequently use the hotel as a training and meeting venue and look forward to even greater comforts in the newly refurbished surroundings.”